Away from my family as a trucker - how i make the relationship work

by Jason
(San Antonio)

I have driven away from my family for a couple of years now. My wife is a wonderful woman and I respect her so much for what she does while I am away. I think that is what makes it work for us,

I respect her for the hard work she does at home with the kids, and she respects me for the time I spend away working long days. It took a while finding my spouse, we were both in our early 30s when we met and married, so there is a level of maturity and trust that we have for each other that makes it possible.

Don't get me wrong, we have our moments of insecurity. Success in our relationship has a lot to do with how we handle those moments. Communication is the biggest key.

My wife knows that while I am driving, I do not use the cell phone. She also knows that when I stop for lunch, dinner, or am at a shipper or receiver, I will call her every chance I get. I joke around and call it my noon check in call or my 5 o'clock check in call.

The internet is also a great resource, we use windows live to video chat, and skype as well. This way my kids can also get in on the conversation, plus they love seeing daddy sitting in his truck or at a table in the truck stop restaurant.

I never go to bed at night without calling her to say goodnight to her and the kids. Some mornings I even get to talk to the kids before they go off to school. It isn't easy, believe me there are nights that I miss my family very much, and there have been times
that my wife calls me because on of my kids is missing daddy and has to hear my voice.

Of course, as most married men know, you have to sweeten the deal every once in a while. I sometimes send her a fruit bouquet from our local fruit shop, which is her favorite.

I also send postcards and greeting cards to her and the kids. We have a giant US map hanging in our dining room. My kids mark the map with the city that I sent the postcards from, so it has been a great learning tool for them as far as Geography.

My 5 year old has known how to identify most of the lower 48 by their shape since he was 4. For my oldest daughter, I have bought key chains from all 48 states and 3 Canadian provinces.

Now, we are working on snow-globes, which will take much longer to accumulate. Plus, since she is over 10 years old, she has come with me every summer for 2 weeks since I started driving.

In all of this, I guess the biggest piece of advice I can give is, talk to your family as often as possible, let them know you are only a phone call away. Finally, when you go home for the weekend, spend time with them.

I have, or I should say had a lot of friends before I started driving. Now, I have a select few that have stuck with me, because they know when I come home, I spend it with my wife and kids. Good luck to those of you coming into the driving profession.

This has been the most personally rewarding job I have ever had, not to mention, the most fun. Just always remember, family is first!

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Jun 01, 2011
Great Post Jason
by: Hervy

I love it when the men chime on the positive note about relationship because we don't often take the time to voice our minds in this way to all the negative stories tend to dominate.

Thanks for sharing I think it will help the wives and the men.

Continued happiness to you and Wifey and kids.

Anonymous good luck on the disc. High doses of vitamin D might help with dealing with pain. "Check with your Dr. of course"

May 31, 2011
by: Anonymous

THANKS so much for your comments coming from the other side of the fence so to speak. I belong to a wives of truckers boards and I am going to cut and paste what you just wrote and post it for them to read. My husband has only been OTR since March and he feels and does all the things that you have said and done. All except the skype part which we are looking into.

We are both in our 50's and due to hardship and circumstances out of our control we have had to sell our dairy farm and this was the only job available that he had experience with. He works for Schneider Bulk Division and I just got my Passport and TWIC card to be able to ride with him but since March I have been fighting with 2 herniated disc in my spine of my neck and I am looking at steroiod injections of my neck so I will NOT be riding anytime soon with him.

But trust and communication is a MUST to make this relationship work and he also calls me whenever he can. At all meals, bathroom stops, weigh stations etc. I even eat dinner with him, he puts me on speaker phone and I talk to him while he eats...I think it is kinda cool.
I just cannot wait until I can ride with him but I do like the idea of the post cards, I am going to mention that to him when he calls tonight.

Thanks again for your post, YOur one SPECIAL truck Driver and your WIFE I bet is so PROUD of you. God Bless and Keep you Safe!

May 31, 2011
Thanks for sharing
by: Laura

Jason, thanks so much for your insight... it really helps to read how other fathers handle the fine balance of family and work.You sound like a really great guy and a very devoted family man. Kudos to your wife as well for her support..

I really enjoyed reading your post.

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